Helicopter operator Bristow Group Inc. has announced a partnership with Vertical Aerospace Group to develop and purchase up to 50 eVTOL aircraft.
Vertical, a British startup, has committed to delivering Bristow 25 of its newest eVTOL aircraft, the VA-X4, with the possibility of an additional 25 more.
The piloted, fully electric aircraft will carry up to four passengers with a top speed of 200 miles per hour and a range of more than 100 miles.
While Vertical is leading the effort on the physical development of the VA-X4, Bristow will offer its transport experience to create certification, infrastructure, and environmental requirements for the eVTOL aircraft.
“Bristow’s global expertise and reach means it is the perfect partner for Vertical as we seek to pioneer the transition to zero emissions flight,” said Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder and CEO of Vertical Aerospace, in a statement Tuesday. “We look forward to working with Bristow and accelerating the commercial operation of eVTOLs.”
President and CEO of Bristow, Chris Bradshaw, shared his goals for the partnership.
“Our MOU with Vertical allows us to build upon our leadership position in the vertical transportation market for the past 70+ years and now sets the stage for the disruptive advantages of the VA-X4 with its zero-carbon emissions and low operating costs for passenger transport,” Bradshaw said in a statement Tuesday.
“Our expansion into these new and existing geographic markets with sustainable, innovative and efficient vertical lift and aerial transport services will offer passengers superior regional air mobility solutions. As the global leader in vertical lift, Bristow’s operational expertise and efficiency, supported by the trust and confidence of our customers, can safely bring eVTOL aircraft into the market.”
Vertical is expected to be the fourth eVTOL company to go public this year, following their upcoming merger with Broadstone Acquisition Corp. The transaction, which may close by the end of the year, has anticipated gross proceeds of $394 million and a pro forma equity value of $2.2 billion.